10 Microsoft Word Tips and Tricks

Odds are you are using Microsoft Word for work. Odds are you are doing just fine. But what if we tell you that you can work even faster, and more efficient than before?

Here are some of our favourite tips and tricks for Microsoft Word:

microsoft word tips

1.     Use formatting style

Working on a document that needs a lot of headings of different styles? By using ‘Styles’, you can create your own heading formats to suit your needs. Go to your Formatting Palette -> Styles and pick or create a style to apply on your designated text. This way, you don’t need to change every heading to font Times New Roman, size 18, Italic, and Underlined. One click will do.

2.     Compare documents

Do you need to see two documents side by side? Open both documents; click the ‘Window’ menu and select the ‘Arrange All’ option. Click ‘View Side by Side’, and voila! Or you can just minimize the windows and place them side by side. You can also click on ‘Synchronous Scrolling’ to scroll both documents at the same time.

3.     Write anywhere on the page

You can use your Word document as a whiteboard and write your text anywhere on the page. Just double-click wherever you want to type your text and start writing.

4.     Convert to Plain Text

When you copy paste from anywhere into Word, all the styles and formatting are retained. To remove these formats, simply select the block and press CTRL+Space Bar and it will be transformed into plain text.

5.     Word’s Hidden Calculator

Your copy of Microsoft Word has a hidden calculator that can handle all the common arithmetic operations. Go to Word Options -> Quick Access Toolbar, switch to All Commands and add the Calculate Command to your Quick Access Toolbar.

6.     Some more useful shortcuts:

  • To insert a page break, press CTRL+ENTER.
  • To center, left-align, or right-align a selected paragraph, press CTRL+E, CTRL+L, or CTRL+R. ·
  • To look up synonyms in the thesaurus, select a word and press SHIFT+F7.
  • To restore selected text to its original formatting, press CTRL+SPACEBAR.

7.     Add a Comment Box

When you are asked to proofread, the easiest thing to do is to turn on the proofreading and commenting system. This will save you from the horror of sending them a lengthy email explaining their mistakes and just marking those in their Word file instead. Go to Tools -> Track Changes -> Highlight Changes. If this feature is turned on, any changes you make to the document will go under different colour. You can also highlight a portion of text, click the Insert -> Comment.

8.     Password Protect Work Documents

If you’re working on a sensitive document, it might be worth locking your documents. To password protect a Word document, click on File > Info > Protect Document > Encrypt with Password

9.     Edit PDF File

Go to File -> Open and open the PDF file. Click ‘Enable Editing’ at the top of the document and edit where you see fit. Don’t forget to save it afterwards.

10.  Find and Replace

Spelled a word wrongly, all throughout the document? Click CTRL+F and type the word you would like to find. Click replace and you can choose between replacing that one word or replace all.

Want to learn more about working with Microsoft Word? The Institute of Management offers an Advanced Microsoft Word course. Visit our website to find out more.